Slow-pitch jigging and micro-jigging are among the fastest growing trends in offshore fishing around the country right now. But what are they?
When most anglers think of offshore jigging with metal lures, their imagination immediately conjures up images of massive knife jigs weighing as much as half a kilo, heavy tackle and an exhausting, intensive style of angling requiring a bewildering combination of high speed reel cranking and violent rod movements. Two or three drops with that style of gear and most of us are ready for a break! Throw in a hook-up or two on a big yellowtail kingfish, samson fish, amberjack, cobia or trevally and you’re looking at a form of angling best suited to the young and fit! But the great news is that this isn’t the only way to jig.
In recent years, micro-jigging and slow-pitch jigging have emerged as real growth areas in offshore lure fishing. Both forms developed in Japan and have slowly spread through the rest of the fishing world, including to Australia. Anglers who’ve embraced the micro and slow-pitch jigging revolution have discovered that it is not only highly effective on an incredibly broad range of fish species, but also a lot less physically demanding than high-speed ‘mechanical jigging’ with hefty knife jigs.
Micro-jigs are basically any metal lures suited to vertical presentations that weigh less than about 100-120g. Some go right down to 10-15 g in weight or even less, although these very small jigs are obviously more useful in shallower water with minimal current. Slow-pitch jigs (also referred to as flat-fall jigs, butterfly jigs and so on) cover a wider range of weights, but are designed to be worked with much slower, gentler lifts and drops than the standard knife jigs. There is a great deal of overlap between these jig styles, and most micro-jigs are in fact slow-pitch jigs, although all slow-pitch jigs are not necessarily ‘micro’ models, if you get my drift! It’s possible to slow-pitch with jigs weighing as much as several hundred grams.